Oval Chalet costs now more than £200,000

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Defending the decision to sell the Oval Chalet site in Whitstable has cost taxpayers more than £200,000 in legal costs and officer time.

The Whitstable Society (WS) has recently confirmed it will seek permission to appeal the recent decision of a judge not to quash the contract with the developer and to challenge other parts of the judgment.

A decision on whether the WS will be allowed to appeal is expected in due course.

Chief Executive Colin Carmichael said: “The cost to the taxpayer can only increase if this case continues to be pursued.

“The legal arguments have already been examined fully by a senior judge who, in a very clear ruling, concluded it was lawful to continue our contract with the developer.

“Naturally we hope the application for permission to appeal will be refused and that this will be the end of the legal process.

“Once it is delivered, this development will allow the people of Whitstable to benefit from an area of open space they have not been able to use for a number of years.

“The Oval Chalet case has been long and complex. We accept the judge’s findings that we did not get the best price we could have got for the land and apologise to residents for that.

“We had, in advance of the February judgment, already examined the process we followed in selling the land, and I can reassure residents our land disposal procedures have now been thoroughly reviewed.”